A piece of artifice, a symbol of defiance against mortality, yet subject to the same laws of nature as the warm and fluttering little sparrow.
In the end, it is not in the lofty ivory tower that we find our salvation, but in the dark depth of the earth, the sea, and space itself, where nameless things strike fear in hearts brittle of hubris.
Poster by Paul Colin (1925)
La Cavalière Elsa, tragedy by Paul Demasy after the novel by Pierre Mac Orlan.
The original novel is a bizarre piece of speculative fiction and can be read here. Elsa is a kind of blonde Jewish Jeanne d’Arc for the Soviet Red Army overrunning Europe in the years after the First World War. The novel’s Red Army seems to be led by some decadent, vaguely octopus-shaped postmodernists nicknamed after Shakespearean characters, who stage colourful and violent performance art shows whenever their Slavic-Chinese-German forces end up victorious. Another main character is the listless Parisian artist Bogaert, who ends up as a commissar of the arts after the invasion, and who shares a wartime memory with Elsa. A lot of stereotypes are presented in a highly twisted and ironic way, so the contemporary reader’s mileage may vary.
Chita Mosque, Chita, Siberia, ~1906. Chita was an exile destination for revolutionaries during Tsarist times and was the location of the short-lived Chita Republic during the 1905 Revolution.
This mosque is a great example of Russian style and Islamic function.